Your health hinges on how seriously you take staying hydrated. Your body is made up of 60% water, so staying hydrated should be of the utmost importance to you regardless of your health goal. My whole fitness career began with a $5 shaker bottle filled with iced water. You need water to burn fat, build muscle, and to have your brain and organs work effectively. Here are 6 ways you can improve your hydration:
1) Commit to drinking 24 oz. water before having breakfast.
If you’re willing to hold off on having breakfast until you finish your first 24 oz. of water for the day, then you’ll be taking your first productive step in improving your hydration first thing in the morning. You won’t believe how easy it is. Fill up a measured water bottle with cold water and aim to drink 4 oz every 10 minutes (24 oz. in the first hour you’re awake). Also, when you start your day on a healthy foot, you’re more likely to continue to make healthier decisions throughout the day.
2) Limit your caffeine intake.
Opt for decaf tea during the day to reduce the consumption of diuretics without sacrificing the helpful antioxidants.For every 6 oz. of coffee or tea you drink, drink another 6 oz. of water to make up for the diuretic effect of caffeine. I personally need to have caffeine first thing in the morning just to feel alive but afterwards I won’t have any caffeine until at least 5-6 hours later. That’s enough time for your body to fully metabolize the caffeine so you don’t overwhelm your Central Nervous System and crash later in the day.
3) Develop a plan that fits in your schedule. If your goal is 1 gallon per day then there are a few ways to go about dividing up that gallon:
– You can bring the whole gallon of water to work with you and sip it throughout the day (yes some people do that).
– You can fill a 24 oz. shaker bottle or water bottle 5 times per day and divide those servings up to fit your schedule (my preferred method).
– If you generally reach for a plastic water bottle, which are roughly 17 oz, it will take 18 servings from that bottle to hit your goal. Nothing’s impossible, but get ready to make a lot of trips to the water fountain.
4) Eat water rich foods.
I’m sure this comes off wildly unhelpful but if you reach for foods with a higher water content (fruits, soup, etc.) you’ll be able to improve your hydration faster than if you’re always reaching for salty starches and chugging water to catch up.
5) Try making your own flavored water or “detox water” concoctions.
This is a trick I see many people who dislike drinking plain water do. Add lemon, sliced cucumbers, lime, mint leaves, berries, and ice to your water in any combination that you think you’ll like the most and enjoy the flavors infusing in your water. The idea is that the water soluble vitamins will diffuse into your water branding it “Detox Water”. I haven’t done the research to confirm that’s accurate, but at the very least you’ll have tasty water with the potential to increase your micronutrient intake.
6) Keep your beverages ice cold.
Studies show that we tend to drink more often and in bigger servings when our beverages are refrigerated or iced. Try filling up a shaker bottle or large water bottle with water and ice before you go to bed and leave it in the fridge. Now you can start your morning with 24 oz. of ice cold water to rehydrate after 8 hours without fluids.